Developing a Freshwater Health Index: Encompassing Earth Data, Community Concerns, and Climate Change

Earth’s climate is changing, and one of the main impacts is on the water cycle. For example, there is an elevated risk of more frequent and intense flooding and droughts. Also, the amount of water flowing in individual streams and rivers is changing, and those changes affect water supplies to communities. NASA Earth science satellites and other remote-sensing techniques can fill in information gaps, but scientific data are just one piece of the larger puzzle when it comes to sustainable water resource management.

What’s needed, in addition to data, are strategies for information sharing, financing, and cooperation, among the many varied decision-makers in a watershed. That’s according to a paper published in the January 17 edition of Nature Scientific Reports.

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Earth Science Communications Team at NASA